Why you need to cut yourself some slack
I had a lot of messages about this post.
I had a lot of people (women, I mean come on, dieting is a tool of the patriarchy, catch up), telling me that they felt like what I wrote about gave them hope but that it felt like it would never happen for them. A few said they felt fully in the thick of dieting hell and that it seemed there was no way out, that they would never work through their food issues, that they would have this battle in their brain every day. So if you read that post and it seemed like a world away, this message is for you: cut yourself some effin' slack.
Sure, maybe it's still a struggle. Maybe you still have the mental battle every morning over having one slice of toast or two, maybe you still work out even though you don't really want to, but honestly you are doing so friggin' well.
You've shown up!
You're reading this tiny baby blog about eating what you want and giving up dieting and intuitive eating!
You're doing your research!
You're dipping your toe in this anti-diet water!
And even if you are still following fitness Instagrams or tracking your food in My Fitness Pal, you're challenging that by being open to these ideas.
Even if giving up dieting is something you're just considering at the moment: that is huge.
Just think about how many hurdles you've had to cross to get to that idea.
Just think about how fatphobic a society we live in.
Just think about how we're trained to hate our bodies so much that the diet industry is expected to be worth $259.8 billion by 2022.
Just think how many diet ads there are on TV and on social media and on billboards.
Just think about how many magazines exist purely to criticise women's bodies.
Just think about how many people have made careers out of telling people not to eat carbs.
Just think about how potent the lie is that everything will be better when we're thinner.
Just think about how often you hear diet talk on the tube or in your office or around your dinner table.
Just think about how often you hear people describing food as 'naughty' or 'sinful' or 'clean' or 'saintly' and that few people question this dichotomy exists of 'good' and 'bad' food.
Just think about how we are basically set up to feel like dieting and restriction and 'earning' food is the norm.
And despite all of that: you saw through it. You pushed past every message, every advert, every comment from your aunt and decided that it's just not right. Pal, that's mega!
If you've realised that diets don't work, make you mad and totally screw your relationship with food: you are making massive steps.
You've recognised that you want to make changes!
You've realised that dieting is harmful and violent and not a healthy way to live!
You've acknowledged that your relationship with food could use some work!
You're starting to think about healing!
That's so big!
As they always say, it's the thought that counts. So even if you still have fear foods and are plagued by thoughts of dieting and exercise and hating your body, if you're even considering that you want to live a life that is free from restriction and self-control and food shame: that is incred.
Cut yourself some slack.
You're doing so well!
PS: My best gal Alice and I talk about this type of stuff every month in our newsletter Since Sliced Bread. Our March issue is out Thursday, sign up here to receive it straight through to your inbox!